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How to Prevent Second Semester Burnout

How to Prevent Second Semester Burnout

December 30, 2020

The Christmas and New Year holidays represent a welcome break for elementary and junior high students. Although we have put a difficult year behind us, stress and uncertainty has been challenging for children and students. The same factors that have given adults anxiety throughout the year have impacted our kids. Many public school students in Buncombe County have dealt with shifting schedules from in-person learning, remote classrooms, and sometimes both in the same week.

When parents are struggling with managing working from home and furloughs, children can be impacted by it. All of that is on top of the pressure to meet academic milestones during the school year, pressure from friends, and other childhood stresses. 

Hopefully, your child was able to get some much-needed rest during the break; however, as the second semester begins, burnout is possible even for your elementary-aged students. Here is what you need to know about helping your child prevent second-semester burnout. 

What is Burnout for students?

Burnout is a term used to describe academic stress that can affect a student's ability to keep up with their schoolwork. Binghamton University defines burnout as, "Academic burnout can be defined as a negative emotional, physical and mental reaction to prolonged study that results in exhaustion, frustration, lack of motivation and reduced ability in school." 

Burn out occurs when students are stressed and feel like they cannot keep up with schoolwork, catch up with studding, and find rest. For parents, there are some important symptoms for which to watch. 

Symptoms of Burnout:

  • Exhaustion, fatigue, and insomnia
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
  • Reduced motivation to complete assignments and study
  • Poor diet and nutrition habits
  • Lethargy and reduced physical activity 
  • Irritability with family, friends, and teachers 
  • Poor performance on school assignments

If possible, it is important to try to prevent burnout before it begins. 

How to Prevent Second-Semester Burnout

  1. Help students set good goals: If your student is academically gifted, it is easy to think that they will be able to take on anything thrown at them. You child may create unrealistic expectations and find they are frustrated when they cannot keep up. Help your student develop reasonable goals for their academic pursuits. 
  2. Spend time together as a family: It is vital to take time away from schoolwork and academics. Help your child step away from stressful academics and spend time with the family. Play games, sing songs, go outside and enjoy our area. 
  3. Use a calendar and avoid procrastination: Some students are prone to procrastination. Last minute scrambling can create stress and exasperate burnout. The second semester is almost like a new school year. It is vital to take time to lay out assignments and block out time for studying and completing schoolwork. If your child is not naturally inclined toward calendars and organization, it will be vital for you to step in and help them schedule assignments. 
  4. Get outside (even during winter): There is nothing like the great outdoors. Our area is beautiful and there is plenty to explore; however, when the weather is cold, we tend to hunker down by the fire. Winter is a great time to bundle up and get outdoors. Many of your favorite hiking trails look completely when the leaves fall from the trees. Waterfalls trails can look like icy winter wonderlands, and if you can get some outdoor time in the snow, you can feel like a kid again yourself. Dress in layers and get outside this winter. 
  5. Find ways to facilitate rest: Sometimes, you just have to step in and help your kids get the rest they desperately need. Even for older students, you might have to enforce bedtimes and allow them the seep in on the weekends. 

Emmanuel Lutheran School is a Christian private school in Asheville, North Carolina. We are fortunate to have been able to create a safe and healthy environment in which to host in-person classes throughout the school year thus far. With smaller class sizes, our teachers are able to recognize how students learn most effectively and whether they are showing signs of burnout. We are committed to helping students find their rest in Jesus and the gospel. If you would like to know more about how your child can be part of our school, contact Emmanuel Lutheran School today.